Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | May 11, 2011

Teenage Riot

Teenage Riot

File this under “Things I’m Making As Soon As I Get Home.” Gaz Regan has added Teenage Riot, by Tonia Guffey of DRAM, Flatiron Lounge, and Lani Kai in New York as one of his 101 Best New Cocktails.

Teenage Riot
Adapted from a recipe by Tonia Guffey,  DRAM, Flatiron Lounge, Lani Kai, New York.

1.5 oz Rittenhouse rye whiskey
1.5 oz Cynar
.5 oz Dolin dry vermouth
.5 oz Lustau dry amontillado sherry
2 dashes orange bitters
1 lemon twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Squeeze the twist over the drink, then add as garnish.

This looks like a very well evolved Old Pal, the classic with equal parts Campari, dry vermouth and rye or Canadian whiskey. Substituting one bitter Italian liqueur for another is always a good bet in my book. The recipe doesn’t specify whether Rittenhouse 80 or Rittenhouse 100 should be used, but I’d guess that the 80 proof version will produce a much softer and smoother cocktail.

I haven’t tried this yet, but aim to very soon. If anyone’s had it, let us know what you think in the comments.


OK I got to make the Teenage Riot a day after publishing this. It’s a really awesome drink, probably one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had with Cynar and something that is immediately on my list of contemporary cocktails that are worth remembering. Definitely give it a try.



  1. Sounds delicious, and right up my alley.

    I wish I’d come up with the name. So awesome.

    It better work out
    I hope it works out my way
    Cause it’s getting kinda quiet in my city’s head
    Takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed right now

  2. I made this drink last night with the BIB rittenhouse. It’s really damn delicious!

    • Yeah it really is a fine cocktail. Lots to love about it.

  3. Hey there! Thanks for the kind words! I went through many variations of this drink before settling on this recipe. I am a huge fan of bitter, burly and stirred so I made this drink with the Rittenhouse 100proof. Another more rye forward variation can be made by cutting the cynar down to a half ounce. Hope you all enjoy!

  4. I was listening to Sonic Youth and it reminded me I wanted to try this drink! I commented (above) like a year and a half ago and never gave it a go. Well, unfortunately, I’m out of Rittenhouse and while I have Cynar, I had to go with a Fino sherry instead of an Amontillado and Cocchi Americano instead of Dolin de Chambéry. And as for bitters, I don’t know who first started doing it but I keep a pre-mixed bottle of ’50/50′ orange bitters on the bar— 1/2 Regan’s & 1/2 Fee Bros. I used that. Oh, and I used Redemption Rye… pretty good stuff for Manhattans and such. Anyway, after all the substitutions, I’m not sure if it counts, but I was right that it’s delicious, and some variation on this now a part of my repertoire. Thanks!

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